WHY HAVE WE never heard of Yuri Druzhnikov? His brilliant earlier novel Angels on the Head of a Pin was named one of the ten best Russian novels of the twentieth century, and Passport to Yesterday was Book of the Year in Russia - both absolutely rightly: So rush out and buy them.
Angels on the Head of a Pin was a sprawling masterpiece, blacklisted for years like its author, and savagely satirical. Passport to Yesterday is very different: slender, delicate, and written in a voice that manages to combine plainness and poetry, horror and humour, in a quite extraordinary way.
The story begins